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The Terms of Trade and Economic Growth in the Periphery 1870-1938

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  • Christopher Blattman
  • Jason Hwang
  • Jeffrey G. Williamson

Abstract

The contending fundamental determinants of growth -- institutions, geography and culture --exhibit far more persistence than do the growth rates they are supposed to explain. So, what exogenous shocks might account for the variance around those persistent fundamentals? The terms of trade seems to be one good place to look. Using a panel data base for 35 countries, this paper estimates the impact of terms of trade volatility and secular change between 1870 and 1938. We find that volatility was much more important than secular change. Additionally, both effects were asymmetric between core and periphery, findings that speak directly to the terms of trade debates that have raged since Prebisch and Singer wrote more than 50 years ago.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9940.

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Date of creation: Sep 2003
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9940

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  1. Deaton, Angus & Miller, Ron, 1996. "International Commodity Prices, Macroeconomic Performance and Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 5(3), pages 99-191, October.
  2. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1997. "I just ran four million regressions," Economics Working Papers 201, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. William Easterly & Michael Kremer & Lant Pritchett & Lawrence H. Summers, 1993. "Good Policy or Good Luck? Country Growth Performance and Temporary Shocks," NBER Working Papers 4474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Pritchett, Lant, 1995. "Divergence, big time," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1522, The World Bank.
  8. Bleaney, Michael F & Greenaway, David, 1993. "Long-Run Trends in the Relative Price of Primary Commodities and in the Terms of Trade of Developing Countries," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(3), pages 349-63, July.
  9. Bloch, Harry & Sapsford, David, 2000. "Whither the Terms of Trade? An Elaboration of the Prebisch-Singer Hypothesis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 461-81, July.
  10. Peter H. Lindert & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Does Globalization Make the World More Unequal?," NBER Working Papers 8228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Piotr Misztal, 2012. "Terms of Trade and Economic Growth in Poland in the period 1980-2009," Romanian Economic Journal, Department of International Business and Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest, vol. 15(45), pages 51-67, December.
  2. Luis Catão, 2006. "Sudden Stops and Currency Drops," IMF Working Papers 06/133, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Josef Falkinger & Volker Grossmann, 2005. "Institutions and Development: The Interaction Between Trade Regime and Political System," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 231-272, 09.
  4. Syed tehseen, jawaid & Abdul, waheed, 2011. "Effects of Terms of Trade and its Volatility on Economic Growth: A Cross Country Empirical Investigation," MPRA Paper 32694, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Luis Catão & Sandeep Kapur, 2004. "Missing Link," IMF Working Papers 04/51, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Yoshiaki Sugimoto, 2006. "Endogenous Trade Policy: Political Struggle in the Growth Process," ISER Discussion Paper 0678, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  7. Atrayee Ghosh Roy & Hendrik Van den Berg, 2009. "Budget deficits and U.S. economic growth," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(4), pages 3015-3030.

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